my work towards what would eventually become the new kind of science in this book.
In the early years of the project--and before I became independent of academia--there were a number of individuals who showed particular foresight in arranging for organizational support or publication of my work, including: George Bell, Bill Brinkman, Roger Dashen, Marvin Denicoff, Herman Feshbach, John Gage, Murray Gell-Mann, Paul Halmos, Sheryl Handler, Danny Hillis, Bob Kraichnan, Oscar Lanford, Joel Lebowitz, Elliott Lieb, John Maddox, K. K. Phua, David Pines, Gian-Carlo Rota, Mike Schlesinger, Ralph Simmons, Larry Smarr, Harry Woolf.
Many influences early in my life are no doubt reflected in one way or another in this book. That my mother was an Oxford philosophy don caused me in my youth to be exposed to a certain amount of academic philosophy. My classical English education--in elementary school (Dragon School) and high school (Eton)--emphasized such pursuits as writing, and exposed me to a certain range of subjects, a remarkable fraction of which have ended up being useful, especially in the historical research for this book. My brief times in college (Oxford) and graduate school (Caltech) enhanced my enthusiasm and confidence in science, and allowed me rapidly to begin life as a professional scientist. In the years that I was a member of the theoretical physics community a great many people provided encouragement, and contributed to my understanding of science and how it should be done. Among those friends, colleagues, teachers and others from before 1981 from whom I learned things relevant for the methods, content or writing of this book were: Ed Berger, Euan Cameron, Chris Cole, Armand D'Angour, Richard Feynman, Rick Field, Geoffrey Fox, Philip Gladstone, Nathan Isgur, Nicholas Kermack, Rocky Kolb, Chris Llewellyn Smith, David Longrigg, Rob Pike, David Politzer, Dick Roberts, Norman Routledge, George Rutter, Ken Spencer, Christopher Stuart-Clark, Tony Terrano, Tini Veltman, Peregrine Williams, Hugo Wolfram, Sybil Wolfram, Larry Yaffe, George Zweig.
To complete a project of the magnitude of this book requires extreme personal focus. And to maintain this, I have for most of the past decade been an almost complete recluse, attending almost no outside events, and interacting mainly just with family, friends, assistants and senior staff at my company. During this period it has nevertheless provided important encouragement to see that even without my personal presence, my earlier work in science--and even more so my work on Mathematica--has had an increasingly great impact on the world. It has also been a continuing source of further encouragement to see just how broadly and deeply the worldwide Mathematica community has been able to make use of the fundamental ideas that I have embodied in Mathematica.
To write this book has taken me more than ten years of almost continuous work, more than a hundred million keystrokes, and more than a hundred mouse miles. I have accumulated tens of gigabytes and hundreds of thousands of pages of Mathematica notebooks. I have executed nearly a million lines of Mathematica input, and altogether more than a million billion computer operations. But now that the task is finally done--and I have written down at least the main elements of my discoveries so far--I look forward to everything that is now possible.